Dr. Jacobs came to see Jimmy after dinner that day. He knocked on the door and Jimmy said ‘Come in’.
‘Hello Jimmy! I’m Dr. Jacobs. Missy said you’d be expecting me. Is this a good time?’
Jimmy noticed he didn’t sit down right away, or just barge into his room like the other doctors and nurses. ‘Sure, have a seat. I’m just twiddling my thumbs looking for something to do.’ He smiled and relaxed as the doctor sat down.
‘Well, I guess this is a good time then. Can’t have you twiddling the day away. Did Missy tell you anything about me?’
‘She said you were a friend of her pastor. Plus, she said you work some sort of eye therapy. She seems to think some of my bad episodes are caused by flashes of light.’
The doctor sat back and smiled. ‘Well, let me tell you about myself. I am an ex-army doctor. Major Thomas Jacobs. My entire platoon came under attack and half of the men were killed. This left several of us badly injured, some for life. I didn’t get hurt, physically. I was sent to an army hospital, like this one for observation. That was when I began to get irritated easily, and act out aggressively. Occasionally I would black out and not remember anything I had said or done. They put me in the psychiatric ward. I went through tests, took meds, and was introduced to this sort of therapy. But, there is more. Sorry, I am skipping to the grim and ugly first.’
Jimmy nodded. ‘That’s ok. There’s a good part?’
‘Oh my, yes! You see, I was in the medical profession all ready and was quite a poor patient. I kept reading up on things. Then, I would question the treatment and refuse the treatment. One day an old army buddy came to see me. He was the army chaplain. Reverend David Doyle. He began talking to me and praying with me. I had so many questions. How could a good God let war begin, stuff like that. Dave, ( as he is called now) didn’t always have the answers. He told me to ask the Lord myself. He did lead me to the cross though. I asked the Lord to be my savior and soon became so engrossed in Christ that I forgot my questions. It was Dave who saw to the rest of my therapy. So you see, science of medicine and Christ work great together. I came to a point where I know I might have a bad day, but I know how to cope with Christ’s help.’
‘Would you like some water? Missy brings me bottled water each day. Says this stuff is better.’ Jimmy handed the doctor a bottle of water.
‘I’d like for you to call me Tom. It’s less formal and the formal address of ‘doctor’ seems like a barrier between me and the person I’m trying to help at times. However, if nurses are present be sure and call me doc. Keeps them on their toes. Is that ok?’
‘Sure, what does Missy call you though?’ Jimmy was enjoying himself.
‘She calls me ...let’s see, I don’t know. We’ll wait till she comes in and see. I know she calls Dave by his name. Huh! I really don’t know what she calls me.’ He started to laugh and Jimmy joined him.
‘She’ll be here soon, we can find out.’ Jimmy said. ‘Did you want to start this stuff today?’
‘No, I really just wanted to get to meet you. I’ve heard glowing reports from Missy and the staff here. They don’t always match up. I thought I’d form my own opinion of how best to help you. So, can you tell me about yourself?’
Jimmy stretched his shoulders and took a deep breath. ‘Just talk about your home town, how you met Missy. Stuff like that.’
‘Well, I’ve known her since the day her folks brought her home from the hospital…’ An hour later Jimmy had filled him in on several things. Tom nodded and smiled at times. They both laughed at some of Missy’s childhood antics. Jimmy then began to tell him about his army life. He was a sergeant in the army. He was leading his men up a mountainside to get a glimpse of an enemy encampment when they suddenly took on fire. Suddenly there was an explosion. It seemed like fire all around them. Several men lost their lives that day. At that point Jimmy began to sweat and shake.
‘That’s ok Jimmy. That’s all I need to know for now.’ Concentrate on my voice. Jimmy’s eyes were closed to shut out the memory. He tried to listen to the voice. ‘Now slowly open your eyes. You are here with me.’
Jimmy’s eyes opened and he focused on Tom. ‘That’s good. Just focus on me.’ Tom wiggled his eyebrows.
Jimmy took a breath and began to relax. ‘Cute eyebrow trick Tom.’ Tom grinned. He’d learned that trick from Dave.
A few seconds ticked by and then Jimmy came out of it completely. A knock on the door turned them to face Missy.
‘Tom! I see you’ve met my Jimmy!’
Tom and Jimmy both laughed at the same time. ‘Well, that settles that question!’ said Tom.
‘What?’ Missy asked. ‘What?, come on you guys quit laughing! Tell me what?’
To be continued.